The Charlie Brewer Slider is a Hall of Fame Plastic

We just cannot believe how good these baits work - for everything!  Caught lots of walleyes on them, trophy pike, crappies, gills, bass - you name it - they eat it.  We like a lot of different plastics that Charlie pours, but the one that is our pick to click is the 3" slider grub.  We have tried all kinds of colors, with most being highly successful.  But our top five are as follows:  Watermelon red, gold, black, pumpkin black flake, green pumpkin, green pumpkin black tail, and watermelon.

Without exaggerating, I'll bet we went through 10 bags in the last three days.  We put them on a 1/8, 3/16, or 1/4 oz Old Fart Lures walleye jighead and they get bit.  You'll have to try it for yourself.  You can go to their website and order some for yourself!  

Old Fart Lures New Detroit River Jig Design

If you're tired of buying junk jig heads, it's time to check out Carl's creations with Old Fart Lures.  There's a reason that hundreds of people bought these jigs at the Novi Fishing Show just a couple of weekends ago - it's because seeing is believing!

Carl's jigs are hand poured, using high end lead.  Then he powder coats them - leaving a finish that'll stand up to all the junk on the floor of Trenton Channel.  His colors are awesome.  And every jig eyelet is cleared so that tying them on is cake (which is a big deal when you can't feel your hands in early April on the river)!

His new design this year is spectacular - nothing new in one sense - but made with all the attention to detail that is Old Fart Lures.  His new river jigs are made to cut through river current, helping you stay vertical, resulting in more fish and less snags.  If you have something you want custom made, he's excited to work with you on that too.

If you haven't tried them yet - you need to.  You can either check 'em out on his website or make it a point to stop by the booth at the Grand Rapids show.  If you do, I'd love to meet you and show you the product.

Attention to detail - all on a super high end Mustad 4/0 hook.  He even has a long shank hook so that you have more metal near the tail of your plastic for short biters.

Attention to detail - all on a super high end Mustad 4/0 hook.  He even has a long shank hook so that you have more metal near the tail of your plastic for short biters.

Old Fart Lures Continue to Shine

Fished the Saginaw River today and had a blast catching all kinds of fish (walleyes, white bass, sheephead, crappie).  But I have to tell you that one of my favorite aspects to fishing the river is using the quality jig heads that Carl pours at Old Fart Lures.  Jigs don't lose their paint, hooks are super high quality Mustad's (4/0) with a big ole' gap to put the odds of a hook up in the fisherman's favor.

He just started to pour a 5/8 oz. size after good friend Matt Lafond told me that's his favorite size for the river.  River was moving pretty good today and was a bit off color after the big rain from Sunday.  But the fish were biting.  We caught them using citrus shad, blue flake, and red flake.  Couple interesting things to note:  water temp was 42 degrees, hot bite was from like 10:30-12:30, big fish moved up to feed and then shut off,  everything was biting at the same time.

Saltwater Fun

Fished over the last couple of weeks out of a kayak around the Sarasota area in Florida and had a blast.  We caught red fish, speckled trout, snook, ladyfish, grouper - all fishing with similar tackle as we use for walleyes back up north (of course Micah caught the biggest ones!).  Savage Gear makes the TPE Manic Shrimp - awesome bait for all fish that swim in saltwater - looks more real than a real shrimp looks and acts in water!

Learned a lot about saltwater fishing, but also discovered many parallels between salt and freshwater fishing.  Fish still relate to structure and bait.  The obvious big difference was the tidal currents.  

Had the privilege to fish with Capt. Bill Muirhead down there and had a blast - caught tons of fish and learned a lot.

Can't wait to go back!

Late Fall on Leelanau

Had a remarkable couple of days up on Lake Leelanau.  Caught numbers of walleyes cranking and jigging.  We have had a blast learning some new ways to fish walleyes.  Wandered onto pods of smallies and some jumbo perch as well.  Caught fish all over the place in lots of different depths.  

Had a chance to fish with Karl and his dad, Leon.  Both of these guys are phenomenal fishermen.  Spanked fish both days - probably ended up with over 60 eyes for the two days we were out.  Water temps were 51-52 degrees.  

Summer 2016 Product Review: Minn Kota 12' Talons - Asset to Walleye Fishermen

I put Talons on my boat this spring hoping to improve boat control and hold me as I helped my own children learn to fish.  They proved far more effective than what I would have imagined.  These shallow water anchors allowed me to hold in 15-20 mph wind and allow clients to access pods of walleyes and perch.  

Every time we made contact with fish this fall, we Taloned down.  Time and time again we would catch a second and a third walleye because the Talons stopped our drift.  The shallow water anchors have become a prime feature in my fishing presentation - they have radically changed the way I fish (and as a guide, they have made boat control way easier!).

Most people that use shallow water anchors are serious bass fishermen, but these tools are a huge asset to the walleye and panfish angler as well.  This past week was a prime example of how helpful these tools are to the trade of walleye and perch fishing.  

I knew of general areas that had held walleyes and perch in past seasons.  I (or someone in the boat) would catch a fish and I would put the Talons down.  On one spot, we caught 12 walleyes fan casting a flat.  On another spot, we plucked really nice perch (10-12") on jerkbaits with a 15 mph at our backs.  On another spot, we worked an edge for perch and were able to move 10 yards and Talon down, covering ground and finding great numbers of beautiful jumbo perch.

As I was thinking about buying the Talon's, several people encouraged me to buy two.  One Talon, while still being helpful, would allow the boat to spin in the wind.  The Talons were also a blessing for launching, loading, and dropping family and clients off at docks.  

Overall, I would highly recommend these babies for anyone who is tired of being dominated by the wind.  

Best Fall Ever on Lake Leelanau?!

Fished over the last week on Lake Leelanau with a combination of guide trips and family and friends fishing outings and enjoyed a tremendous bite for both walleye and perch.  Water temps finally dipped in the the upper 50 degree range, and the fish put on the feed bag.  

Fished all over Lake Leelanau and found fish everywhere.  The walleye were awesome, but the perch might even be the bigger story.  We found lots of quality perch in the 10-12+" range and caught them on plastics, crankbaits, jigging raps, and live bait.  

Color was huge with the crankbaits.  We found specific colors ruled.  We also found cadence to be significant (and it shifted daily).  Super impressed with this fishery - probably one of the best in all of Michigan if not the upper midwest!

Perch Bonanza on Burt Lake

Fished with my wife on Burt Lake for perch and we had a blast.  Caught some real beauties - up to 14.25" (most fish falling in the 8-13" range).  The coolest part about the fishing was that almost all the fish came on size 3 jigging rapalas both cast and vertically fished.   Beautiful fish with a beautiful woman on a beautiful lake!

Leelanau 9/28-30

Fishing was solid again on Lake Leelanau.  Had the privilege to take out Bob and we caught a two man limit in a couple of hours.  Bob caught them on cranks and slip bobbers and minnows.

My wife and I had the chance to fish together and she got her first two legal walleyes - one on a crank and one on a slip bobber.

The jig bite was solid as well.  The Charlie Brewer 3" slider grub was magical again.  The fish we cleaned were full of wigglers (still!).  When the fish are eating emerging insects, the slider grubs are the way to go (but they work all the time!).  Put that plastic on an 1/8, 3/16, or 1/4 oz. jighead from Old Fart Lures (citrus shad has been my go to) and you are good to go!

Minn Kota Talons Pay off Big Time in Walleye Fishing

Most people think shallow water anchors and they think pitching jigs into openings in surface weed pockets.  We bought Talons to help us with boat control as we fish aggressively for walleyes.  Over the last couple of days up north, we saw our 12 foot Talon investment pay off dividends.

We would raise the Talons a foot or two and then drift for a couple moments and then talon down again to fish another section of a flat.  If we made contact with an 'eye, I'd double click the remote hanging around our neck and end up catching another one (or five).  In our pre-Talon fishing, we'd hook a fish and it might take a couple of minutes to remove a bait and put it in the live well and in the mean time, a 10-15mph wind would push us over top of the pod of fish we had made contact with.  Not the case this weekend!  It was incredible to pop one fish, Talon down, and proceed to catch a bunch more.

The name of the game is boat control and the 12 foot Talons held us in 15-20mph winds!  

Clients lit up Lake Leelanau

Fished Lake Leelanau this weekend.  Excellent bite going on right now.  Did really well on slip bobbers and leeches (thanks to awesome bait from the Narrows Resort Bait Shop and Greg!). Caught lots of walleyes on cranks and plastics as well.  I use the lightest jighead possible, all dependent on the wind.  Still thrilled with the stuff Carl has produced at Old Fart Lures (www.oldfartlures.com).  Favorite colors are citrus shad and green pumpkin in 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4 oz.  My favorite part about the jigs is the 4/0 Mustad hooks he uses.

Saturday highlights:  Todd, Alex, Dave, and Mike ended up with a nice mess of walleyes and some dandy smallies - mostly caught on leeches.  

Sunday am highlights:  Fished all over the lake with Ed and Tom and these guys did great on both jigs and crankbaits.  Lots of walleyes and some nice smallies.

Sunday afternoon:  Had the privilege of taking Dan and his son, Ben, out.  These guys pounded fish.  Ended up with a couple of meals of walleyes.  Also caught a number of nice smallmouth between 2 and 4 pounds.  My highlight was watching Ben reel these hard fighting fish in!

Monday highlights:  Dwight caught a bunch of quality eyes.  He also caught a northern pike.

Summer 2016 Product Review: Garmin GPSMap 7610 xsv

We switched electronics this year and think it was one of the best moves we have made in a long time!  The new Garmin's that I put on my boat taught us a lot about structure fishing this summer.  We had more guide trips on Lake George and more success and we credit a lot of it to the ability to find structure and find fish on structure.  The 7610 is the perfect combination of amazing technology and user friendliness!  We are still learning the units, but we would highlight three areas that made these units stand out to us:

1.  Incredible Clarity.  Not only do I have the ability to see more, but I have the clarity to discern what I'm seeing.  

2.  Love the features this unit offers:  Side imaging, down imaging, super fast GPS processor, a touch screen that is simple to navigate just to name a few!

3.  The best mapping software that I've ever used!  The lake map for Lake George, NY is Garmin's LakeVu Ultra HD map and I owe all of our Lake Trout success to Garmin.  We were able to find the structure and see the fish on the structure in deep water.  

The bottom line in fishing is fish location. You can't catch fish that aren't there.  Finding the structure and discerning where the fish are at on the structure is the name of the game.  As you look back over the past summer and forward to your next fishing season, and if you are at all in the market for new electronics, I would highly encourage you to check out what Garmin has to offer.  The reality is that you only have so much time on the water, why not leverage it with the best technology to maximize learning and catching? Go with Garmin and you won't regret the move!

Summer 2016 Product Review: Charlie Brewer Slider 3" Slider Grub

Since opening a package of Charlie Brewer 3" slider grubs a couple years ago, these baits have become one of the mainstays in my guide program for almost all species.  Fish absolutely devour them.  This year was no exception.  We pounded walleyes, northerns, smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappies, and bluegills.  We experimented with some different colors and found many to be highly successful (green pumpkin/black tail was one of the best new colors).  If you haven't tried this bait, you owe it to yourself to just give it a go.  Go to www.sliderfishing.com and buy yourself at least these starter packs:  3" slider grub in green pumpkin, pumpkin black flake, watermelon gold, red, black flake, and watermelon.  Put them on a 1/8-1/4 oz Old Fart Lures walleye jig either in citrus shad or green pumpkin and expect results like these:

Summer 2016 Product Review: Gamma Edge, Torque, and CoPolymer line

Had another great year showcasing the best fishing line on the market.  Gamma, while tearing things up in the professional fishing world, continues to thrill my clients with premium fishing line in all categories.

The bulk of fishing that happens on my boat incorporates Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon. People always ask me what weight of line I use and the vast majority is 8lb test (but I do fish 6 a lot as well).  I find that 8 Lb. test is strong enough to land big smallies, walleyes, and northerns.  We do a lot of drop shot fishing on Lake George and love Gamma Touch in 7lb test strength.  The touch is so supple with very little memory, yet a ton of "feel".

This year we fished more braid than we have in several years.  We were super impressed with Gamma Torque.  We used the 10/3 product for casting jigs for walleyes and loved the feel of getting plowed by a 'eye.  Probably our favorite application was fishing deep water for lake trout.  We caught 25 lake trout this summer between the middle of July and the middle of August and all of them were caught on Gamma Torque main line and a 12-16lb Gamma Fluoro 6' leader.  Of the 25 we caught, we think only one was short of legal size (which is 23" on Lake George).  We caught lots of fish in the 6-10lb range.  One of the best side benefits of the line is the ability to discern what type of bottom you're fishing - hard or soft.  Can't wait to fine tune the system next summer!

Last, we used the copolymer as well with lots of solid results.  We threw huge crankbaits and jerkbaits and caught nice walleyes and smallmouth.  We also use the copolymer to fish docks.  Most of the time we use 10lb test, but have gone heavier with bigger cranks.  The copolymer is superior for top water applications.  It also excels with abrasion resistance around docks and laydowns.  This fall we are testing it with jigging rapalas for walleyes.

First Stab on Lake St. Clair

My good friend (and talented fishing buddy) Ross Parsons treated me to a day on Lake St. Clair yesterday.  Weather was rough (20mph wind out of the north made for a very bumpy, wet ride).  Fishing was fun - we didn't catch a ton of fish, but the ones we caught were nice fish.  Our big fish was a 4.7lb smallie.  We caught smallies, a largemouth, a walleye, perch, white bass, and a couple northerns.  Ross threw the kitchen sink at them and I pretty much relaxed in the back with a drop shot (he outfished me with the kitchen sink).  Definitely look forward to learning more about this phenomenal fishery!

Summer 2016 Product Review: Okuma Helios Spinning Rods/Reels

Had the chance to fish Okuma's Helios line of spinning rods this summer and overall I was very impressed.  The Helios spinning rods are super lightweight, yet powerful.  A Helios combo weighs a little over 10 oz, yet have no problem handling the powerful surge of a smallmouth or the thrashing nature of a big lake trout.  I also love Okuma's lifetime warrantee - I haven't needed to replace one of these rods yet, but I know from other Okuma rods that I have broken that they have one of the best customer service departments and warrantees out there.

This summer we tested the medium heavy action rod for lake trout and we are planning on adding two more to our guide program.  The rods have incredible feel and yet gave us the power we needed to set the hook in 100' of water and move big fish.  

What I personally love about the rods is that their lightweight nature helps some of my joint issues.  I have battled tendonitis in my right elbow, brought on largely from repetitively setting the hook or snapping a bait to get a reaction.  These rods help me a ton primarily because of their lightweight.  I would highly recommend Okuma to anyone looking for a high end rod at a reasonable price (www.okumafishing.com to see more about the product).